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Tentions Between the US and Other Countries
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The Middle East may have oil but when it comes to rare earth metals, China has the market cornered. They are the largest export of rare earth metals in the world. In fact they contribute about 97 percent of them. Every country in the world, including the United States depends on them for the precious metals that are essential in hybrid cars, televisions, and computers. So what would happen if this supply were to cut off? It would end the flow of technology as we know it because the main use of rare earth metals is in the construction and operation of the everyday technology that the people of this era depend on. Well it may be a little too late for "What if...". China has started restricting their exports to the rest of the world and has cut off Japan almost completely. Some of the metals in question here are coke, silicon, magnesium, and bauxite. These restrictions apply to us and as a result, there are growing tensions between us and China. Currently, the Obama Administration is working on the issue and says not only that the restrictions on raw export materials in unfair but that these restrictions are hurting jobs across America. The US is already in a recession with job losses on high. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said "These actions are hurting American steel, aluminum and chemical manufacturers, among other industries, that desperately need these materials to make their products." Another issue that the rare earth metal restrictions are causing is a matter of national security and defense. There is talk of China starting to restrict other harder to find metals like Terbium, Europium and Dysprosium. These metals are used in a lot of military artillery including missal guidance systems. And if there is one thing that really irritates the United States, its when you mess with our explosive toys. And that is why this is such big issue and why it’s causing tensions between the two countries. There aren't many other countries that export massive rare earth metals and the US cannot hold up on its own supply. We are of course not the only ones who are being denied here though. Europe isn't getting their full share either. Both Europe and the US have filed complaints with the WTO which is the World Trade Organization. Essentially this group dictates what countries can and cannot do to each other concerning trade. They keep the peace and regulate the world wide interactions. The expectation once the cases are taken to the WTO, is that the cases will be merged and tried and if China doesn’t lift the export restrictions, it is likely that the US and Europe both will be given the ok to impose economic sanctions equal to that of the damage done to their companies by Beijing. Although this could take a while because there is a 60 day pending period with the WTO and the hearing itself could take up to a year. But some say that china may very well withdraw the restrictions instead of waiting out the pending and trial period.
if any of this is not clear, here is a link to a video that may help.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31513055/ns/business-world_business/
http://www.journalnet.com/news/local/article_7ff3ec66-dfff-11df-9275-001cc4c03286.html
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31513055/ns/business-world_business/

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